Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Hell On Earth Looks Like

Today is Wednesday, July 1st. After sleeping all of yesterday, today I woke up feeling much better. Thank you for praying. Once again our team drove the chaotic streets through Phnom Penh to Svay Pak. The children are getting to know us, and are waiting for us, waving to us as we drive through the village.

Svay Pak is the pit of hell. It is a town of alcholism and drug addiction, and sex trafficking. Many of the adults are up through the night drinking and doing drugs and having sex with children, and so we have to start the vacation bible school later each morning because the children sleep late. In Cambodia children are a commodity. They are sources of income for the parents. From the earliest age children are expected to work to support their parents. In Svay Pak and other parts of Cambodia the parents spend the money they make selling their children on alcohol and drugs, but also tvs, and other expensive items, yet neglecting to provide their children with some of the basic necessities.

I have so many stories to tell you today. Remember our little girl who came with makeup on? I found out her name, its Hooa. My team tells me that yesterday she came late again with makeup and was very sick. Of course we don't know for sure, but the people who are working to rescue these children say that 100% of the girls are trafficked here. If it hasn't happened yet, it will soon. Pray for this little one. She's beautiful, and bright, and full of life.

Kim from our team, pointed out a young boy who came to the center today. He doesn't usually come, but he came today and was skipping with the children. The Director told us that his father trafficks him out every night to men for sex...every night. Now that is hell on earth for this young one.

The Director of Agape House, Don, came to speak with us today. He showed us a picture one of the girls at the house drew for him of what had happened to her. Then he read her story to us. At nine years old she was being sold in a brothel and having sex with 5-10 men every night. They rescued her and now she is healing from her atrocious experiences. We will get to meet her on Sat when we go to Agape. Don says she is a miracle of the healing work of God.

The people who work here day after day are amazing. They are in the center of the worst evil and God is using them to bring hope and healing not only to the children, but to the families who are in bondage to this evil. In the last 5 weeks, they've been able to rescue 6 girls from Svay Pak. God is changing the people's hearts in this town through the work of the center and the church they've planted there.

But they need our help. With 54 girls at Agape, they're at capacity and so to rescue anymore means they have no where to put them. Don says that by September they'll be out of money for Agape, with costs of approximately $800 per girl per month. And now before they can rescue anymore girls, they need to open up a new home.

But God knows. He is the One who has begun this work, and He will carry it through. But He will use us to help. Be praying about how God might use you to help Him rescue the abused, neglected children of Cambodia.

One last thing...foreigners come from all over to have sex with the girls. But evidence shows that its the American men who treat the girls the worst, with torture and beatings, in addition to the sex.
A sad, but real truth.

Keep praying for us...the heat is unbearable, we sweat through everything within minutes of being outside. Its a long, strenuous day working with the children in the heat. But praise God, more children are coming every day.

More tomorrow...


  1. Barb - thank you for providing a firsthand glimpse of reality into the lives of these children. It breaks my heart & I'm certain it breaks God's as well. You're working with a compassionate team with Don Brewster in the lead. I'm praying for you, for these children and for those whose hearts are wicked enough to prey on them. Love-Tammy

  2. Dear Barb,
    I have been reading your journal daily. It is beyond heartbreaking to hear the stories of Svay Pak. Thank God for His mercy in sending you and your team, and for providing a safehaven in Agape House. I continue to pray for your health in such difficult surroundings. May God give you additional strength as He uses you and your special gift of healing. Love,Deb